Say goodbye to the views at your local intersections for the next several months.

We are now officially in the heart of the 2012 election season, which means corners all over town have been taken over by campaign signs.

With more than 110 candidates for federal, state and local offices in Southern Arizona primary elections, intersections everywhere are bristling with signs of all sizes, color and styles.

In this forest of signs, candidates have to create something eye-catching to get voters' attention. Yet most still fall back on the tried and true big name with some combination of red, white and blue. Many incorporate the sunbeams from the state flag.

In terms of originality, you've got to give U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva, D-Ariz., props for his black mustache logo that sits underneath green letters, "!Grijalva¡" Not colorful, maybe, but also not run of the mill.

The thicket of signs will only get thicker in the coming months as the election calendar turns from primary to general and the remaining contenders make their final pushes to win over voters.

Choo-choo trains

Republican state Sen. Frank Antenori took a little time during his speech at this week's Republican luncheon to ponder a vital question on the minds of voters everywhere: Why are Democrats fixated on trains?

"I'm still trying to figure out why Democrats love choo-choo trains so much," Antenori said. "When I was a kid my dad let me have a choo-choo train, so I got it out of my system. But it seems like all they want to have is choo-choo trains. It's like they've had a deprived childhood."

Antenori used the train topic to tag Democrats for what he considered rampant taxpayer spending, citing Tucson's streetcar, proposals for a high-speed rail from Phoenix to Tucson and California Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal for a high-speed rail system for his own state.

He's not against trains, the candidate for state Senate in the new Legislative District 10 insists - just taxpayer-funded ones.

Now maybe some Democrat will want to weigh in on Antenori's fixation with laws aimed at showing Tucson and Pima County who's the boss.

Camel brigade is back

Our favorite Green Party candidate and off-the-wall answer guy is back.

Charlie Manolakis, who ran in the CD8 special election against Democrat victor Ron Barber and Republican contender Jesse Kelly, has entered the race in the new CD2, only this time as a Democratic write-in candidate.

"I'm coming back for Round 3," Manolakis said.

No word yet if he's going to keep pushing for camels on the border.

During a candidate debate hosted by the Arizona Daily Star in late May, Manolakis brought down the house when he proposed a camel brigade rather than horse patrols to help secure the border.

"They have more durability and less maintenance, and they get the same speed," Manolakis said that night.

It drew him some laughs, but not many votes. He finished a distant third to Barber and Kelly with 2 percent of the votes.

Contact reporter Brady McCombs at 573-4213 or